The first full weekend of Pac-12 play (Utah and UCLA being excluded because they are playing this Thursday) featured five games where the closest margin of victory was 18 points, two games where the winning team hung a double nickel on their opponents, and yet, it was all overshadowed by a boatrace in the Sonoran desert and a firing on the tarmac in Los Angeles.
Arizona State 62, Southern California 41: Otherwise known as Lane Kiffin's Last Stand, it was a game where USC's defensive depth cracked, allowing for a massive 28-0 run in the third quarter which allowed ASU to come from 21-20 down to lead 48-20 after the third quarter. The Sun Devils racked up 612 yards and forced four Trojan turnovers. After the game, when the team returned to Los Angeles, USC athletic director Pat Haden relieved Lane Kiffin of his duties. Ed Orgeron, former head coach at Ole Miss, has assumed interim duties.
Oregon 55, California 16: The Ducks did not look like their normal crisp selves in a game that featured heavy rains at times. Oregon only put up 381 yards of offense, but took advantage of several early Cal turnovers to build a 41-3 halftime lead. Cal lost fumbles on their first four drives, and Oregon took advantage early. The win also occured with star running back DeAnthony Thomas, who injured his leg on the opening kickoff. He appeared on crutches but has stated that he will try and be ready for the game against Colorado this week.
Stanford 55, Washington State 17: Washington State was overmatched in this game against Stanford. Wazzu dared Stanford to try and beat them with the deep ball, and quarterback Kevin Hogan was more than happy to do so, completing several long passes during the game and finishing with 286 yards passing. Hogan completed three touchdown passes of over 30 yards during the game, and the Stanford defense ran back two interceptions for touchdowns in the third quarter.
Washington 31, Arizona 13: Washington running back Bishop Sankey carried the ball for a school record 40 times for 161 yards and a touchdown as the Huskies won a game that was forced to the ground due to rainy weather conditions in Seattle. Sankey eclipsed the school record of 38 carries, set by Corey Dillon in 1996. It was a soggy, sloppy game and both teams struggled in the wet conditions, although the Huskies managed to pull away in the end.
Oregon State 44, Colorado 17: Sean Mannion was at it again, throwing for 414 yards and six touchdowns as the Beavers routed a Colorado team that hadn't played a game since September 14. Brandin Cooks caught nine passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns for the Beavers, who have won four straight since the shocking opening weekend loss to Eastern Washington.
Player of the week: Alden Darby, Arizona State. The safety was heavily involved in helping ASU beat USC. He intercepted two passes (including one that he returned 46 yards for a touchdown), forced and recovered a fumble and had seven tackles.